At about 4 o'clock we lost all our hope: no sign of the good wind everyone in Barreal told us about......
Then suddenly the was a big noise and the motorhome was trembling like there would be an earthquake:
there was heavy, really heavy wind.
It started like if someone pressed the button somewhere with a sign on in with the words "heavy winds".
We had no time to be happy because we first had to run to secure all the equipment laying around, or, better said, flying around our heads.....
After we've finished securing and gathering all the equipment we measured the windspeed with an aneometer and we couldn't believe it:
the display showed always more than 50 km/h with peaks up to 70 km/h
As it was not enough wind before now it really was to much for a beginner like me.....that would be suicide.
I prefered helping Andrea, equiped with helmet and motorbike clothes. He had much more experience with the buggy and couldn't stand without trying it.....
With this wind it definitely needs three persons for starting and for landing the kite:
the starting procedure is the following: the pilot itself gives the command to the second person to start the kite at the edge of the wind window (and to run away quickly afterwards), the third person is there to keep the pilot on the ground and pull him inside the buggy (before running away also).
the landing procedure is the following: the pilot itself let the rest of the crew know when he want's to leave the buggy. This means for the second person that he has to, while avoiding a crash with the in the meantime empty buggy, keep the pilot on the ground. The third person then has to throw its own body in the correct moment on the landed kite.
I can tell you, it's quite hard. But nevertheless for trained pilots a real paradise.
Andrea measured a top speed of 82,1 km/h that day, which definitely was his personal record. After about 5 minutes of crossing the lake like hell he needed the first break. He was complaining that the lake was not wide enough, allthough it measured about 1.5 km here. No wonder, when you get up to such a speed you have to think also of a way to slow down to a normal speed like 20 km/h before beeing able to turn. And for those who don't know:
buggies do not have a break.
This went on for about an hour. But the later it was the shorter the flying periods were and the longer the breaks were......it's quite exhausting.
But Andrea really looked happy, must be a great feeling.
All the rest of us enjoyed the battle with the wind in a less
radical way: with standard kites. We were flying a speedwing until
it fall apart. I tried to take a picture, but I couldn't get it
on the picture, it was just to fast.
Myself, I was flying a MiniSigma, a 60cm wide flexible kite with two about 23m long lines. You really needed to gather all you're senses, one small distraction and the kite, Minisigma or Speedwing, was crashing into the ground like hell....possibly the last crash.....
We all could write a book together with the title "How to destroy a kite, no matter of what type...."
But despite all those lost/destroyed kites it was an unforgettable
experience and great fun.
In the evening we were all eating a typical Italian Spaghetti, made by Andrea, in the motorhome. It was a great dinner and big fun.
After that the French delegation, Antoine, Henry and Pierre,
were driving back to the river in Barreal to stay for the night.
Agusta, Andrea and I decided to stay on the lake for the night.
I do not know exactly when we went to bed, but I think after all the Spaghetti, all the wine and all the stories this evening, it was quite late......